Elk Heart (or any great piece of meat) - caper cream sauce

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by thoseguys26, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    A tradition in our family has always been cooking up heart and tenderloins and/or backstraps the night of the harvest. I grew up in the upper midwest so there was never a concern for any diseases so there was no testing needed to be done to wait to hear if your meat was editable or not. The past 5 years I've lived in CO and there is a concern for CWD ( cronic wasting disease) so the first couple years it was a drastic change for me to have to wait a few weeks to hear if your meat was clear or not. Long story short, I pulled an elk heart out today from last years harvest and it was delicous.

    I only fried a couple heart steaks up tonight so there's more to cook tomorrow for Thanksgiving!

    *Note - clean your heart properly. Cut it down to the meat and remove excess vains, fat, etc etc. I can get in more detail if you would like.

    My parents used to cook up our whitetail heart and loins for 40 min, carmelizing the onions, mushrooms, green peppers and garlic but I've learned to treat the heart like a fillet or any fine piece of meat after the carmelizing has been achieved. Theirs was fantastic but now as an adult and a wannabe chef, I realized it could be less chewy and much better.

    Here's a great way to enjoy some heart or any tenderloin / backstrap.

    Pan Fry

    Cut some onions, garlic, mushroom, green peppers or anything that you fancy.

    Heat up your pan, melt some butter and toss in the veggies but save the garlic for last. Medium heat, let them all slow cook until carmelized. I also love to add a large sprig of fresh thyme at this time :) . It's soo good and crispy.

    Up the heat to medium high & add another dab of butter, the garlic and the heart or meat.

    I like to season the meat with a little salt and pepper and sometimes, well usually, garlic salt.

    Cook the meat until it's medium or medium rare and pull off the heat and plate or wrap in foil.

    Immediately add some whipping cream or half & half to the pan and a tablespoon of capers or more depending on your craving :)

    Let the cream get to a soft boil and turn off the heat. I like to stab / crush a few capers to get that salty brine flowing into the cream and stir it all around the pan to deglaze the pan of the garlic and other flavors.

    Sauce is done, poor next to meat and ENJOY!

    This isn't much of a recipe, but more of a reminder and heads up to those cooking any great cut of meat. Caper cream sauce is delicous and makes the meat taste soo good! Trust me!

    snorkelinggirl likes this.
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Love it[​IMG] & a great thing to see in nose to tail. People need to be reminded every now & again that eating all the "lesser " cuts is good management of the resource not just good eating.
  3. WON-DER-FUL!!!!!

    I just adore this, and used to make a great deal of pâté with exotic red game meats and thus include the hearts with the livers (of ostrich, emu, rhea etc.) and your elk heart looks absolutely amazing and I just wish I was there!!!! So there!!! Smiles.

    Wow, this site is just packed with great palates (Mick you're most certainly included of course) and it's so terrific!

    Thank you for sharing!!! And Happy Thanksgiving!! Cheers! - Leah
  4. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just think that eating the heart of a deer you hunted yourself is very "pure "cookery.Authentic,traditional,old school all the values I like in cookery.

    There are some real talented cooks that drop in on nose to tail,sophisticated cookery with unsophisticated ingredients.
  5. I totally agree with you Mick! So authentic, raw, carnal, and REAL! I love it!

    BRAVO to "thoseguys26" therefore! Indeed. That photo looks luscious!!!

    Cheers! - Leah
  6. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi tg26,

    Sorry, I somehow missed this post when it first came out! I love heart, and agree with you that a nicely seared but rare medium rare heart is definitely the way to go. Your sauce recipe looks delicious! I'm intrigued at using capers in the sauce....seems like it would add some nice piquancy. Looks great, nice job!!

    And now a question for you. My husband got his first deer on Wednesday, and will be home tonight with the field-dressed deer along with its heart. Temps have been below freezing where he was at. I am planning to cook the heart tomorrow night for dinner, and would like to give your recipe a shot. I know how to clean and prep a heart that I have gotten from a USDA butcher, but I am wondering if I need to do anything special with the field-dressed deer heart to extract blood or whatever?

  7. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi tg,

    I little follow-up to my prior post. I followed your recipe for caper cream sauce tonight using some minced onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and served it with seared deer heart that my husband brought home yesterday. The caper flavor went amazingly well with the heart, and I may try it again tomorrow night when I cook the tenderloins. Thanks for posting a great recipe!

  8. Wow!!! That DOES sound so amazing!!!!! Cheers to capers and hearts!!!!!!!!!!! - Leah
  9. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    I can't agree more. Heart is my favorite.. of course tenderloins and heart isn't bad either :)
    Leah, your enthusasim and words make me smile. I've always wanted to make a milder flavored pâté with fresh elk so if you have some pointers please share!
    I can't agree with you more.

    I can thank my parents for that tradition. It's strange, most people I know don't like heart UNTIL I cook it for them -  meaning they haven't ever tried heart or it has been cooked to a rubber band.

    Frying the heart up after the harvest is such an old tradition here..
    I don't hunt for trophy's, unless you consider the trophy that came out of my smoker.
    Sorry I am soo late on this reply Clarissa but I'm glad to see you came out on top as usual.
    I know you'll make the caper cream sauce your own. I'll tell you one thing I love is making that type of cream sauce for any steak, roast or organ meal. It's my go to sauce and very customizable. - I have an amazingly tasty change on that sauce that I'll post soon.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  10. Indeed, this whole fantastic thread did really get to the "heart" of it all! No wonder we all got so damn excited! Such beautiful stuff!

    Happy Friday to all!!!!!!! Make it delicious!!!!!!! Cheers! - Leah
  11. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Cheers cheers! Friday was delicious, though it may be a 'caper' to this thread but here's my meaty Qview for the weekend..

  12. Wow! You're just cooking/smoking up a storm!!! How fantastic!!!! Happy Sunday!!!!! Cheers! - Leah
  13. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I saw the pâté mention. I used to do some as a favour for my butcher friend but it got out of control & I didn't want a second job!
    When I get back to Sydney I will have a dig around for my notes.I used to do a venison liver pâté.
    Have a great Xmas.
  14. Yes, the pâté palate is fantastic and can span into anything!

    I used to make ostrich, emu and rhea pâtés (each separately as their own thing) and would use both some chopped heart and liver, along with Cognac, shallots, tarragon, oil (as I don't use butter) and at that time a touch of real Vermont maple syrup. It was amazing! Moreover, the house smelled downright fantastic!!! Ahh fun liver nostalgia, yes?

    Anyway, great stuff you're posting here! Beautiful indeed!

    Cheers to all! (And Mick your venison version sounds INCREDIBLE)!!!!!!!! - Leah
  15. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Leah I have never heard of emu pâté until now! That's just cutting edge. I suppose its just a big seed eating bird liver after all !I couldn't get a lot of my friends to eat it even if I could find the liver to begin with.
    I will track down this Flinders Island wallaby in the NewYear.
  16. Yes I was very "pâté passionate" back in that day (first marriage diversion I suppose) as tinkering with emu hearts and livers (and rhea, ostrich, some lamb) seemed pacifying in some way???

    When those things arrived on dry ice, some of them the size of footballs however, I think my mate was "less than impressed."

    Hmmm...perhaps that sight, coupled with the constant smell of liver may have placed a damper on the relationship??? Smiles.

    That seems like such a lifetime ago though; and today I most certainly wish everyone in this great world only fabulous things! Put me near exotic game organs however, and my creative efforts take off and with wild aplomb!

    Happy "Christmas Eve" to all!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers!!!!!! - Leah
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ah yes the ghost of marriages past,, know it well. Cooking for the distraction,cooking for the therapy, cooking for the peace & quiet, cooking because its what you do .When your falling in love or falling out or waiting for your next love,cooks gotta cook!
    Have a great Xmas.
  18. Agreed Mick! Well put! Back at you with the Christmas Wish!!!!!! Cheers! - Leah
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cheers to the holiday season... and short lines at the "offal" section in the meat case....

  20. Yes, good point Dave! Here's to great moving lines indeed! Cheers to all!!!! - Leah

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